Sometimes, you make mistakes blatant. One of them I made today while reading a text by Luhmann (‘The modernity of Modern Society’, in ‘Observations on Modernity’).
And then appears the following quote (in note at foot of page)
‘As Giddens rejects an explanation of ‘functional differentiation’, links the concept of society to the level of the national State, and probably neither would say that the ‘reflexive monitoring of action’ has to have that result by a kind of historical law; in reality, there is only an explanation through the evolution of communication techniques of broad scope. But then the transition to modernity would begin with the invention of writing, and its first result would be the awareness multiethnic emerged in the century II to.C in Egypt and Asia Minor’ (p. 20).
Now, the good news is that -strangely – Luhmann uses something close to an argument, but as an argument it is not so good. Because, what is the reason that the transition to modernity may not be able to start with the invention of writing? (in fact, it is like you can read some of the theses of Goody). But giving reasons is, in any case, as alien to Luhmann that could well perdonarsele not use them now.
And about the lack of reasons:
‘Also here will help a historical comparison to get away. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the old ethics european, for more than today have who likes to dream again with a civil society ethical-political. This tradition ended in the SEVENTEENTH century, no later than the EIGHTEENTH. At the same time ends the rivalry communication between philosophy and rhetoric (or also between historiography and poetry), that he had coerced the schema true/false, or so I had to use the communication problems in order to justify why the rhetoric and the poetry had to work with veiled or perceived illusions. While then it was a question of amplification, up empleabámos for this purpose, the concept of absorption of insecurity. However, the world of these premises of communication has survived itself from all points of view. Nothing of this is now directly relevant, and any attempt of revival is therefore under the suspicion of functions countervailing(p 166-167, Ecology of Ignorance, bold JJ).
And so it’s like, ‘he argues,’ Luhmann: Considering that -obviously, as someone could even think otherwise – those who think against him are clearly wrong (pertenenciendo to traditions from centuries ago are finished, of course). The only thing about an argument is the point about the end of rivalries, philosophy / rhetoric, history / poetry. And now, what is the relevance of that observation on the subject under discussion?
If so is the ‘theory’ of sociology, there is not much to do with our discipline. Around 200 pages about the modern society, and nothing -zero – empiria. The closest are discussions about what that says about modern society, a note on the coup in Russia in ’91 and another observation about the fashion industry.
In the end, there are authors worst one you can think of.